The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Matt Wright

PRESTON man­ager Si­mon Grayson in­sists com­ments made by his Coven­try coun­ter­part Steven Press­ley about Joe Gar­ner gave the striker no ex­tra mo­ti­va­tion after he scored in the vis­i­tors’ win at the Ri­coh Arena.

Press­ley claimed that Gar­ner ‘goes down very eas­ily’ and although the for­ward said that he hadn’t heard of this, his Klins­man­nesque cel­e­bra­tion after his penalty sug­gested oth­er­wise!

It sealed a de­served vic­tory for Preston in what was a low-key en­counter and they were met with lit­tle re­sis­tance from an anaemic Coven­try side, who barely laid a glove on them.

Grayson said: “Joe’s only mo­ti­va­tion is to score goals for Preston North End and he takes great sat­is­fac­tion scor­ing against any­body.

“We can’t af­fect what­ever’s been in the Press, we just get on with our game plan and Joe just goes about what he’s do­ing.

“He was a hand­ful – you could see he bat­tles away, he holds the ball up, gets on the end of crosses and he’s our tal­is­man who gets us goals.

“I thought, from start to fin­ish we con­trolled the game. We stopped Coven­try from play­ing and showed good tem­per­a­ment in match­ing them but when we got the ball we passed it with a pur­pose and we looked a con­stant threat.”

Preston had the bet­ter of the early ex­changes with Chris Humphrey shoot­ing just wide and Bai­ley Wright head­ing over after Ryan All­sop had ner­vously punched Paul Gal­lagher’s de­flected free-kick.

Wright then came closer still on 21 min­utes when he rose high­est to meet another set piece from Gal­lagher only for the ball to clip the bar on its way over. Sadly the rest of the first half passed com­pletely with­out in­ci­dent with Coven­try un­able to im­pose them­selves or even get a shot in.

The vis­i­tors con­tin­ued to look the more threat­en­ing after the break with Ryan Haynes hav­ing to cut out a dan­ger­ous cut-back by Josh Brown­hill meant for Humphrey.

And Preston even­tu­ally broke the dead­lock after 61 min­utes when Gal­lagher played in another ter­rific free-kick to give skip­per Tom Clarke to easy task of turn­ing the ball in from close range.

Six min­utes later Gar­ner dou­bled their lead from the penalty spot after the striker had been tripped in the penalty area by Seb Hines and that was enough to give Preston the points.

Coven­try have now lost their last three games with Press­ley say­ing: “I’d like to give credit to Preston, who are a strong League One side and mer­ited their vic­tory.

“From a per­sonal point of view, we didn’t play with any in­ten­sity or flu­ency or the strength that I want for us and that's up to me to sort that out.

“The con­fi­dence of the group looked a bit down - after a good run of re­sults we’ve had a cou­ple of dis­ap­point­ing re­sults and it may have af­fected us.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age Ltd

TAL­IS­MAN: Joe Gar­ner scores from the spot for Preston to make it 2-0 STAR MAN JOSH


NE Preston

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